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Ok, so I’m still here trying to figure this all out.  My son had a persistent cough and then started a couple months later to crack his neck.  Pediatrician says she thinks the cough is an allergy  and gives is a medicine protocol for a month.   During the month the cough continues and the neck cracking ramps up.  Until the second to last day of the medicine protocol, and the cough goes away. Now we are left with neck cracking.  It’s been about ten days… I have mot noticed any other vocal tics.  Is the neck cracking considered one motor tic or two?  The neurologist specialist that we met with (for five minutes) said both were tics.   So, now am I just waiting to see if another motor tic develops to qualify under tourettes criteria?  Or am I now also searching for a new vocal tic since the cough went away with medicine?  Or maybe the neck tic will go away…it’s pretty frequent in the evenings.  This is such a roller coaster nightmare.  Thoughts?

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I don't think it beneficial to be "searching" for more tics? The old criteria for a dx of TS  really are rather arbitrary, and with so many other reasons now known for why kids develop tics, it would be a lot more beneficial to focus on identifying potential tic triggers when a tic emerges, and implementing things that help alleviate.

On your previous thread I mentioned a number of things that we found helpful when my son had a neck tic (NUCCA, epsom salts soaked warm cloth on neck or magnesium lotion applied etc) Not sure if you have tried any of those, but our experience did show help.

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Hello, again, Chemar!

Yep, we are doing all the things you mentioned except for the nucca massage…I haven’t had any luck one here; however our pediatrician will ask around for a rec for kids.  She also gave is a script for an mri on his neck to make sure there is not anything physically wrong there. (Can u imagine a 6 year with a neck tic  old sitting still for 20 minutes?)  We also have the big scratch allergy test coming up.

Things we have done:

Daily vitamins: 


fish oil

b complex


Vitamin d and k spray

we are now gluten free

cut wayyyyyyyyyyyyy down on sugar

drastically cut tv time…

we have air cleaners in the living 

room and his bedroom

we have dehumidifiers in the living room and bed room

we got rid of old couches and rugs —he is allergic to dust mites

got new mattress and pillow for him with dust mite covers

been working on yoga and meditation

he’s a physical guy, so we get him out each day for lots of exercise…soon he will be in soccer, tae kwon do, gymnastic, and swimming

magnesium baths every night… I olay super zen sleepy music to relax him and will often drape a warm towel around his neck duri g his bath

we also apply magnesium lotion after the bath

earlier bed time…he sleeps really well…that has never been an issue, really

recently got some essential oils, but haven’t had enough time to try them; although I usually add a few drops of lavender to his bath as well.

we’ve been to a tic neurologist specialist, a pediatrician, and a second neurologist. All 3 doctors now have all called this a “transient” tic even with the reported persistent  cough which is now gone.   I have not noticed any other motor or vocal tics aside from the neck cracking.    Strangely, the neurologists both independently mentioned PANDAS or PANS, but I have not noticed ANY personality changes; however, we will get that checked next.

As you mentioned, I am actively trying to find the origin of his neck cracking whether it be diet or anxiety, but I have not had any luck finding the source.  We are now at about 2.5 months of this motor tic.  

So, the reason I keep stressing on “finding” another tic is because I am am still trying to figure out if this is, indeed, a transient tic, with a coincidental

persistent cough or if this is tourettes. From what I understand in my limited research, is that the “cause” of a transient tic is different than that of Tourettes.  Meaning that Tourettes is a neurological disorder in the brain that is causing uncontrollable (although may be suppressed for some time) twitches.  Whereas, a transient tic may just be a glitch in a growing brain or the body’s way of releasing energy.  I know both can be similar, but there seems to be more of a genetic disorder if we ate talking true Tourettes.  Please correct me if I am wrong.  

Therefore, although, the approaches to addressing both have many similarities…there are also some physicality's that would make them also different and might, thus, change some of the treatments?  

Anyhow, I’m in that year limbo stage where I’m

still just trying to figure out what I am dealing with, and all the medical experts I turn to seem to have no real idea.   

So, I guess my question is, is there a difference between a transient tic and Tourettes.  I’m basing a lot of my knowledge, perhaps falsely on dr. Wikipedia.

Thank you again for all of the continued wisdom…

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Hi Deanit

Just 3 quick points ---- PANDAS/PANS can cause tics without "personality changes"


If there is a skeletal imbalance, that can cause the neck cracking tic - not just "diet or anxiety" - that is why I mentioned the chiropractic evaluation and possible NUCCA treatment.

With the many things that can cause tics - the clearcut line in dx TS from other tics is a lot more blurred.



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Ok, that is interesting...I didn't know that PANDA/PANS could present with no other issues.  Will definitely persist in getting that blood test.

Yes, I suppose anything is possible with this neck cracking.  We will be getting an MRI on his neck to see if there is anything physical going on there.  He says he does it because he needs to release it and it makes him feel better.  The second neurologist asked him if he could control it then she put a timer on and asked him to not do it for a minute.  He didn't do it.  That was her test, I suppose...for what, exactly, I don't know because I know tics can be suppressed...so he could have just been suppressing it.  

I looked into NUCCA and it sounds very interesting.  I even emailed several chiropractors in the area to see if they were familiar, but I heard nothing back.

The pediatrician will try to recommend a kinesteologist...which is similar to a chiropractor here and we may try that route.  

Due to the lack of other tics or other issues, it just seems more and more to be to be a habit that he formed...which I suppose is a tic...but I just have not found the origin.  

My wife and I are, of course, prepared to ride it out regardless, but it is just so frustrating to visit so-called experts and no one seeming to really know what is going on.  My pediatrician keeps saying that it's not Tourettes because he would have all these other symptoms...and it would be explosive, but just from my own research, I know Tourettes can present with no comorbid conditions. 

Any continued advice and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.






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